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Whincup/Lowndes lead RBHRT one-two in Surfers

Daniel Herrero

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Saturday 26th October, 2019 - 6:26pm

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Jamie Whincup leads Shane van Gisbergen at the finish

Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have combined to lead a Red Bull Holden Racing Team one-two in Supercars Championship Race 26 at the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.

The #888 ZB Commodore effectively led all 102 laps as Whincup saw off late pressure from team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, who converted a solid opening stint from Garth Tander into a runner-up finish in the #97 ZB Commodore.

Scott McLaughlin, who chose not to fight van Gisbergen for second when he was challenged at the end of Lap 88, holds a slightly reduced 613-point championship lead over his compatriot after he and Alexandre Premat took third in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang.

Rounding out the top five were Cameron Waters/Michael Caruso (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) and Scott Pye/Warren Luff (#2 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore).

Lowndes got the jump on Premat from the outside of the front row and took a clear lead to the first corner, as Tander slotted into third and Thomas Randle (#5 The Bottle-O Mustang) into fourth.

Lowndes got as far as 1.3s ahead on Lap 3 before Premat began to nibble at the margin, which then oscillated around one second for the next dozen laps.

While the front-runners had run largely as you were since the start of the race, Jack Perkins (#22 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore) incurred a 15-second hold penalty after he dived at Tony D’Alberto in a bid to take eighth and clattered into the side of the #12 Shell V-Power Mustang at Turn 11 on Lap 8.

Randle, meanwhile, was holding up Tickford Racing team-mate Caruso such that the latter was more than nine seconds adrift of Tander when the rookie appeared to give fourth position up at Turn 11 on Lap 13.

Car #17 was reportedly given a warning for kerb hops around the Lap 16 mark, which coincided with the beginning of an expansion of the gap between Lowndes and Premat.

The bad sportsmanship flag was officially issued to Car #17 on Lap 24, by which time Lowndes was almost three seconds up the road and still pulling away.

The gap was approaching six seconds when both filed into pit lane at the end of Lap 34, the minimum lap requirement for either driver, as did several others.

Whincup climbed into #888 and McLaughlin into #17 and they resumed with about the same split between them, while Tander pressed on until Lap 37, when he handed over to van Gisbergen.

With the first pit stop cycle done, Whincup led McLaughlin, van Gisbergen, Waters, an off-sequence Perkins, Andre Heimgartner (#7 Plus Fitness Altima), Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore), and Pye.

McLaughlin began to make an impression on Whincup’s lead, bringing it down towards three seconds as the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver had to dispose of lapped traffic.

Once the DJR Team Penske driver came up on the back-markers, however, that gap blew back out beyond seven seconds on Lap 52.

By then, Pye was fifth, having executed strong passes on De Pasquale and then Heimgartner at the Turn 4 Hairpin, before getting by team-mate Perkins, in the space of three laps.

Perkins, who had pitted early to clear the hold penalty, was himself holding up Heimgartner, Lee Holdsworth (#5 Mustang), and De Pasquale until he pitted at the end of Lap 58 with close to 11 seconds between the two Walkinshaw Andretti United entries.

McLaughlin was back to about six seconds off the lead when he pitted again on Lap 61, and about 3.5s behind Whincup when #888 rejoined from the lane a lap later.

Van Gisbergen, who was given greens on the working side for his first driving stint, continued to make time on McLaughlin as he pressed on as the official race leader.

Car #97 looked a threat for second position then and there, until the momentum started to reverse not far past the Lap 70 mark.

When van Gisbergen finally did make another pit stop on Lap 76, he rejoined a clear third.

McLaughlin had chipped his deficit to Whincup down to about 2.3s, and had over five seconds of margin on van Gisbergen, while fourth through 10th at that point was Waters, Pye, Holdsworth, Will Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang), Heimgartner, De Pasquale, and Nick Percat (#8 Alliance ZB Commodore).

Van Gisbergen, however, had new tyres down the right of #97 again and he was within a second of McLaughlin on Lap 87, with Whincup three seconds clear.

McLaughlin gave up second position at the start of Lap 89 when van Gisbergen pulled alongside on the Gold Coast Highway after the Ford driver had been held up by traffic at the final corner.

A Safety Car was called on that same lap due to the presence of a muffler, which fell off the #3 Rabble.Club Altima, at the exit of the Turn 4 Hairpin, erasing Whincup’s 3.2s lead.

When the restart came on Lap 93, the Triple Eight cars were almost 0.9s up on McLaughlin, with van Gisbergen then nearly 1.4s ahead of the championship leader by the end of that lap.

Van Gisbergen tailed Whincup until Lap 99, when he appeared to settle for second, and while McLaughlin had Waters close behind for the final laps, there seemed no major challenge.

“Big thanks to CL, did an amazing job to get us into the lead of the race, a nice buffer,” said Whincup.

“I thought we were in a little bit of trouble there with that late Safety Car.

“We had some pace, happy days, couldn’t be happier.”

“We didn’t get out the old 10-year ago logbook of how to win races (together with Lowndes); the sport’s moved forward since then. CL did an awesome job, couldn’t be happier.”

Lowndes added, “The car was great, it was consistent, I ran to a number; Alex sort of put a bit of pressure early on and then we sort of see-sawed a bit but in the end we were able to drive away from him and get Jamie a five-second lead.

“Credit to the team, to have both cars one-two is really a credit to everyone.”

Pye and Luff earned fifth after the latter made good progress in the first stint of the race and the former during the second, while Holdsworth/Randle finished sixth, and Will Davison/Alex Davison seventh.

Andre Heimgartner crunches the wall after contact with James Courtney pic: Fox Sports

There was more carnage on Lap 98 as James Courtney, who had pitted under the Safety Car and was on fresh tyres, attacked Heimgartner for eighth position.

He gave Heimgartner a nudge coming off the Turn 4 hairpin, then tagged the rear of the #7 Altima and turned it into the wall as they accelerated alongside the beach.

Heimgartner got back to the pits, where he retired, while Courtney was soon issued a drive-through penalty and ultimately finished 12th.

Eighth instead went to Tim Slade/Ash Walsh (#14 Alliance ZB Commodore), ahead of Fabian Coulthard/D’Alberto, and Rick Kelly/Dale Wood (#15 Castrol Altima).

De Pasquale brought a wounded Car #99 home in 11th for himself and co-driver Will Brown despite a late hit with the wall at Turn 11.

The Erebus Motorsport driver already had a munching front splitter when he failed to make the turn onto Breaker Street on Lap 101, but only lost two positions for his troubles.

The next Supercars session on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit is Armor All Qualifying for Race 27, tomorrow at 0955 local time/1055 AEDT.

Results: Race 26, Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Updated*

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Laps Race time
1 888 Red Bull Holden Racing Team J.Whincup/C.Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 102 2:06:57.9470
2 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team S.van Gisbergen/G.Tander Holden Commodore ZB 102 2:06:58.4677
3 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team S.McLaughlin/A.Premat Ford Mustang GT 102 2:07:00.6377
4 6 Monster Energy Racing Team C.Waters/M.Caruso Ford Mustang GT 102 2:07:01.2907
5 2 Mobil 1 Racing S.Pye/W.Luff Holden Commodore ZB 102 2:07:02.8373
6 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team L.Holdsworth/T.Randle Ford Mustang GT 102 2:07:05.6125
7 23 Milwaukee Racing W.Davison/A.Davison Ford Mustang GT 102 2:07:11.4630
8 14 Freightliner Alliance Racing T.Slade/A.Walsh Holden Commodore ZB 102 2:07:11.8429
9 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team F.Coulthard/T.D’Alberto Ford Mustang GT 102 2:07:18.2092
10 15 Castrol Racing R.Kelly/D.Wood Nissan Altima 102 2:07:18.8914
11 99 Penrite Racing A.De Pasquale/W.Brown Holden Commodore ZB 102 2:07:21.7816
12 22 Mobil 1 Racing J.Courtney/J.Perkins Holden Commodore ZB 102 2:07:38.1578
13 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing J.Le Brocq/J.Webb Holden Commodore ZB 101 2:07:09.2577
15 3 RABBLE.club Racing G.Jacobson/D.Fiore Nissan Altima 101 2:07:22.5257
14 8 Freightliner Alliance Racing N.Percat/T.Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 101 2:07:10.1830
16 34 Boost Mobile Racing J.Golding/R.Muscat Holden Commodore ZB 101 2:07:23.3620
17 21 Team CoolDrive M.Jones/D.Canto Holden Commodore ZB 100 2:07:24.0148
18 56 Boost Mobile Kostecki Brothers B.Kostecki/J.Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 100 2:07:26.5538
19 18 Irwin Racing M.Winterbottom/S.Richards Holden Commodore ZB 100 2:07:45.6977
20 35 Bigmate Racing T.Hazelwood/J.Smith Holden Commodore ZB 100 2:07:56.7034
21 78 Team Harvey Norman S.De Silvestro/A.Rullo Nissan Altima 100 2:07:57.6190
22 9 Penrite Racing D.Reynolds/L.Youlden Holden Commodore ZB 99 2:07:26.1985
23 33 Boost Mobile Racing R.Stanaway/C.Pither Holden Commodore ZB 98 2:07:46.9506
DNF 7 Plus Fitness Racing A.Heimgartner/B.Fullwood Nissan Altima 98 2:03:25.1349

Championship points Updated*

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 3437
2 Shane van Gisbergen 2824
3 Jamie Whincup 2530
4 Fabian Coulthard 2485
5 Chaz Mostert 2447
6 David Reynolds 2345
7 Cameron Waters 2185
8 Nick Percat 2083
9 Will Davison 2063
10 Lee Holdsworth 1974
11 James Courtney 1837
12 Mark Winterbottom 1768
13 Anton De Pasquale 1737
14 Scott Pye 1663
15 Rick Kelly 1560
16 Tim Slade 1548
17 Andre Heimgartner 1526
18 James Golding 1418
19 Todd Hazelwood 1336
20 Simona De Silvestro 1303
21 Jack Le Brocq 1066
22 Macauley Jones 1059
23 Garry Jacobson 1010
24 Richie Stanaway 908
25 Michael Caruso 432
26 Alexandre Premat 429
27 Garth Tander 414
28 Craig Lowndes 390
29 Thomas Randle 378
30 Chris Pither 333
31 Jack Smith 330
32 Jack Perkins 327
33 Warren Luff 303
34 Tim Blanchard 282
35 Luke Youlden 261
36 Dale Wood 258
37 Steven Richards 252
38 Alex Davison 252
39 Richard Muscat 201
40 Jonathon Webb 174
41 Alex Rullo 174
42 Tony D’Alberto 168
43 Dean Canto 168
44 Dean Fiore 156
45 James Moffat 120
46 James Hinchcliffe 102
47 Alexander Rossi 102
48 Ashley Walsh 90
49 William Brown 72
50 Brodie Kostecki 51
51 Jake Kostecki 51
52 Bryce Fullwood 0

* Car #35 34s penalty, Car #78 34s penalty

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